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Great Fire Of London Replica Set On Fire In 'Watch It Burn' Spectacular On The Thames

'We commemorate the burning of London by setting it all on fire.'

05/09/2016 10:07

The famous destruction caused by the Great Fire of London 350 years ago has been dramatically re-enacted, although on a somewhat smaller scale.

The 120 metre-long replica of 17th century London was set on fire on Sunday, representing the blaze that changed the skyline of the city forever.

The fire, which began in a small bakery on Pudding Lane on the night of Thursday, 2 September 1666, wiped out 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches, The Royal Exchange, Guildhall and St Paul’s Cathedral.

Closely-packed buildings made from timber and pitch burnt easily and the fire was helped by winds, swallowing up much of the city. 

The project, called London 1666: Watch It Burn, saw the intricate model mounted onto barges and floated down the Thames, before being burned in front of a huge audience for the 350th anniversary.

Watch the entire thing here:

The burning was a collaboration between American artist David Best and creative company Artichoke.

Helen Marriage, director of Artichoke, said: “London 1666 is essentially a project in which a model of 17th century London gets made, mounted onto barges, floated down the Thames and then in front of an enormous audience on the 350thanniversary, we commemorate the burning of London by setting it all on fire.”

  • JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images
    A replica of 17th-century London on a barge floating on the river Thames burns in an event to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, in London on September 4, 2016. A giant replica of 17th-century London was set ablaze on the Thames in the city to mark the 350th anniversary of the devastating Great Fire of London. The 1666 inferno destroyed most of the walled inner city dating back to Roman times -- a bustling, congested maze of tightly-packed wooden houses. It forced London to rebuild anew from the ashes. / AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • John Phillips via Getty Images
    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: A 120-metre long wooden model of London's 17th-century skyline burns on the River Thames after it was set alight in a dramatic retelling of the story of the Great Fire of London on September 4, 2016 in London, England. The event commemorated the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)
  • John Phillips via Getty Images
    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: A 120-metre long wooden model of London's 17th-century skyline burns on the River Thames after it was set alight in a dramatic retelling of the story of the Great Fire of London on September 4, 2016 in London, England. The event commemorated the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)
  • JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images
    A replica of 17th-century London on a barge floating on the river Thames burns in an event to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, in London on September 4, 2016. A giant replica of 17th-century London was set ablaze on the Thames in the city to mark the 350th anniversary of the devastating Great Fire of London. The 1666 inferno destroyed most of the walled inner city dating back to Roman times -- a bustling, congested maze of tightly-packed wooden houses. It forced London to rebuild anew from the ashes. / AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • John Phillips via Getty Images
    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: Members of the public watch a 120-metre long wooden model of London's 17th-century skyline burns on the River Thames after it was set alight in a dramatic retelling of the story of the Great Fire of London on September 4, 2016 in London, England. The event commemorated the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)
  • JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images
    A person stands on the shore watching a replica of 17th-century London on a barge floating on the river Thames burning in an event to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, in London on September 4, 2016. A giant replica of 17th-century London was set ablaze on the Thames in the city to mark the 350th anniversary of the devastating Great Fire of London. The 1666 inferno destroyed most of the walled inner city dating back to Roman times -- a bustling, congested maze of tightly-packed wooden houses. It forced London to rebuild anew from the ashes. / AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images
    A replica of 17th-century London on a barge floating on the river Thames burns in an event to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, in London on September 4, 2016. A giant replica of 17th-century London was set ablaze on the Thames in the city to mark the 350th anniversary of the devastating Great Fire of London. The 1666 inferno destroyed most of the walled inner city dating back to Roman times -- a bustling, congested maze of tightly-packed wooden houses. It forced London to rebuild anew from the ashes. / AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • John Phillips via Getty Images
    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: A 120-metre long wooden model of London's 17th-century skyline burns on the River Thames after it was set alight in a dramatic retelling of the story of the Great Fire of London on September 4, 2016 in London, England. The event commemorated the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)
  • JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images
    A replica of 17th-century London on a barge floating on the river Thames burns in an event to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, in London on September 4, 2016. A giant replica of 17th-century London was set ablaze on the Thames in the city to mark the 350th anniversary of the devastating Great Fire of London. The 1666 inferno destroyed most of the walled inner city dating back to Roman times -- a bustling, congested maze of tightly-packed wooden houses. It forced London to rebuild anew from the ashes. / AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • John Phillips via Getty Images
    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: A 120-metre long wooden model of London's 17th-century skyline burns on the River Thames after it was set alight in a dramatic retelling of the story of the Great Fire of London on September 4, 2016 in London, England. The event commemorated the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)
  • JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images
    A replica of 17th-century London on a barge floating on the river Thames burns in an event to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, in London on September 4, 2016. A giant replica of 17th-century London was set ablaze on the Thames in the city to mark the 350th anniversary of the devastating Great Fire of London. The 1666 inferno destroyed most of the walled inner city dating back to Roman times -- a bustling, congested maze of tightly-packed wooden houses. It forced London to rebuild anew from the ashes. / AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • John Phillips via Getty Images
    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: A 120-metre long wooden model of London's 17th-century skyline burns on the River Thames after it was set alight in a dramatic retelling of the story of the Great Fire of London on September 4, 2016 in London, England. The event commemorated the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)
  • JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images
    A replica of 17th-century London on a barge floating on the river Thames burns in an event to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, in London on September 4, 2016. A giant replica of 17th-century London was set ablaze on the Thames in the city to mark the 350th anniversary of the devastating Great Fire of London. The 1666 inferno destroyed most of the walled inner city dating back to Roman times -- a bustling, congested maze of tightly-packed wooden houses. It forced London to rebuild anew from the ashes. / AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images
    A replica of 17th-century London on a barge floating on the river Thames burns in an event to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, in London on September 4, 2016. A giant replica of 17th-century London was set ablaze on the Thames in the city to mark the 350th anniversary of the devastating Great Fire of London. The 1666 inferno destroyed most of the walled inner city dating back to Roman times -- a bustling, congested maze of tightly-packed wooden houses. It forced London to rebuild anew from the ashes. / AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images
    A replica of 17th-century London on a barge floating on the river Thames burns in an event to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, in London on September 4, 2016. A giant replica of 17th-century London was set ablaze on the Thames in the city to mark the 350th anniversary of the devastating Great Fire of London. The 1666 inferno destroyed most of the walled inner city dating back to Roman times -- a bustling, congested maze of tightly-packed wooden houses. It forced London to rebuild anew from the ashes. / AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images
    A replica of 17th-century London on a barge floating on the river Thames burns in an event to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, in London on September 4, 2016. A giant replica of 17th-century London was set ablaze on the Thames in the city to mark the 350th anniversary of the devastating Great Fire of London. The 1666 inferno destroyed most of the walled inner city dating back to Roman times -- a bustling, congested maze of tightly-packed wooden houses. It forced London to rebuild anew from the ashes. / AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images
    A replica of 17th-century London on a barge floating on the river Thames burns in an event to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, in London on September 4, 2016. A giant replica of 17th-century London was set ablaze on the Thames in the city to mark the 350th anniversary of the devastating Great Fire of London. The 1666 inferno destroyed most of the walled inner city dating back to Roman times -- a bustling, congested maze of tightly-packed wooden houses. It forced London to rebuild anew from the ashes. / AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images
    A replica of 17th-century London on a barge floating on the river Thames burns in an event to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, in London on September 4, 2016. A giant replica of 17th-century London was set ablaze on the Thames in the city to mark the 350th anniversary of the devastating Great Fire of London. The 1666 inferno destroyed most of the walled inner city dating back to Roman times -- a bustling, congested maze of tightly-packed wooden houses. It forced London to rebuild anew from the ashes. / AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images
    A replica of 17th-century London on a barge floating on the river Thames burns in an event to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, in London on September 4, 2016. A giant replica of 17th-century London was set ablaze on the Thames in the city to mark the 350th anniversary of the devastating Great Fire of London. The 1666 inferno destroyed most of the walled inner city dating back to Roman times -- a bustling, congested maze of tightly-packed wooden houses. It forced London to rebuild anew from the ashes. / AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS via Getty Images
    The final touches are made to a 120 metre-long wooden sculpture of London's skyline from the seventeenth century as it is moored up on the river Thames in London on August 30, 2016. The sculpture titled London 1666 and designed by David Best will be ceremonially lit and burnt in the middle of the Thames on September 4 as part of celebrations to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London. / AFP / DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS via Getty Images
    The final touches are made to a 120 metre-long wooden sculpture of London's skyline from the seventeenth century as it is moored up on the river Thames in London on August 30, 2016. The sculpture titled London 1666 and designed by David Best will be ceremonially lit and burnt in the middle of the Thames on September 4 as part of celebrations to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London. / AFP / DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS via Getty Images
    The final touches are made to a 120 metre-long wooden sculpture of London's skyline from the seventeenth century as it is moored up on the river Thames in London on August 30, 2016. The sculpture titled London 1666 and designed by David Best will be ceremonially lit and burnt in the middle of the Thames on September 4 as part of celebrations to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London. / AFP / DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Chris J Ratcliffe via Getty Images
    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 30: Workers put finishing touches in place to a 120 metre long wooden sculpture of 17th century London's skyline on the River Thames ahead of it being burnt this Sunday on August 30, 2016 in London, England. The sculpture , named 'London 1666', has been designed by David Best and is part of the London's Burning Festival commemorating the Great Fire of London in 1666. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
  • Chris J Ratcliffe via Getty Images
    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 30: Workers put finishing touches in place to a 120 metre long wooden sculpture of 17th century London's skyline on the River Thames ahead of it being burnt this Sunday on August 30, 2016 in London, England. The sculpture, named 'London 1666', has been designed by David Best and is part of the London's Burning Festival commemorating the Great Fire of London in 1666. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
  • Chris J Ratcliffe via Getty Images
    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 30: A worker puts finishing touches to a 120 metre long wooden sculpture of 17th century London's skyline on the River Thames ahead of it being burnt this Sunday on August 30, 2016 in London, England. The sculpture , named 'London 1666', has been designed by David Best and is part of the London's Burning Festival commemorating the Great Fire of London in 1666. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
  • Chris J Ratcliffe via Getty Images
    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 30: Workers put finishing touches in place to a 120 metre long wooden sculpture of 17th century London's skyline on the River Thames ahead of it being burnt this Sunday on August 30, 2016 in London, England. The sculpture, named 'London 1666', has been designed by David Best and is part of the London's Burning Festival commemorating the Great Fire of London in 1666. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
  • John Phillips via Getty Images
    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: A 120-metre long wooden model of London's 17th-century skyline burns on the River Thames after it was set alight in a dramatic retelling of the story of the Great Fire of London on September 4, 2016 in London, England. The event commemorated the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)
  • DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS via Getty Images
    The final touches are made to a 120 metre-long wooden sculpture of London's skyline from the seventeenth century as it is moored up on the river Thames in London on August 30, 2016. The sculpture titled London 1666 and designed by David Best will be ceremonially lit and burnt in the middle of the Thames on September 4 as part of celebrations to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London. / AFP / DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • John Phillips via Getty Images
    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: A 120-metre long wooden model of London's 17th-century skyline burns on the River Thames after it was set alight in a dramatic retelling of the story of the Great Fire of London on September 4, 2016 in London, England. The event commemorated the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)
  • Chris J Ratcliffe via Getty Images
    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 30: Members of the public look on at a 120 metre long wooden sculpture of 17th century London's skyline on the River Thames ahead of it being burnt this Sunday on August 30, 2016 in London, England. The sculpture, named 'London 1666', has been designed by David Best and is part of the London's Burning Festival commemorating the Great Fire of London in 1666. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
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